The owner of the luxury ranch at which Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia died recounts the Judge’s final “peaceful” moments.
John Poindexter, who owns the 30,000-acre Cibolo Creek Ranch in Marfa, Texas, described Justice Scalia’s as an “engaged” guest who died doing what he enjoyed most.
"He was seated near me and I had a chance to observe him,” recalled Poindexter to My San Antonio News. “He was very entertaining. But about 9 p.m. he said, 'It's been a long day and a long week, I want to get some sleep.”
“Other than being with his family or in church, there’s no place he’d rather be than on a hunt,” lawyer Mark Lanier, who had accompanied the Judge on several excursions, told The Washington Post. Scalia was one of three dozen guests invited that weekend to the luxury ranch, which has hosted European royalty and various celebrities.
On February 13, when the Judge did not come to breakfast, Poindexter “forcefully” knocked on the door of his suite, but there was no answer. Three hours later, he returned with Scalia’s friend and let himself inside.
"We discovered the judge in bed, a pillow over his head," Poindexter said to My San Antonio. "His bed clothes were unwrinkled. He was lying very restfully. It looked like he had not quite awakened from a nap.”
Scalia was found cold and without a pulse. After consulting with a local physician, Poindexter realized that it was too late to perform resuscitation efforts. The owner contacted federal authorities, which resulted in difficulties as the death occurred on a weekend.
"Ultimately they became available and handled it superbly,” he recalled. “They flew in by helicopter. They told me to secure the ranch, which I did until this morning.”
Presidio County Judge Cinderela Guevara pronounced Scalia dead of natural causes over the phone. She told The Washington Post that law enforcement officials at the ranch assured her there were “no signs of foul play.” Guevara also reported that the Judge’s doctor said he suffered from various chronic health problems, and that a statement will be added to the death upon receiving an official note from the physician.
"Among the most commonly said things yesterday was, if this had to happen — and we're really sad that it did — but if it had to happen, it happened in the very best of circumstances," Poindexter told NBC News. "He seemed to enjoy himself greatly."